Changing gears in Summit
SUMMIT COUNTY – When you grow up skiing the Alps, the landfill-ski hills of Michigan just don’t cut it. So it’s no surprise that when Steve Meyer saw the Keystone ad on a college job board, he made his way to Summit County. Meyer, a Summit Cove resident, grew up in Belgium and Paris, while he wasn’t living in Detroit suburbs. The son of a Ford Motor Co. employee, Meyer earned his ski legs in the mountains that give alpine skiing its name and continued to develop a love for the sport on family vacations in Switzerland. Meyer wasn’t very focused on his business major studies at Michigan State University, he said, and when he saw an opportunity to work at Keystone, he jumped on it.
“I knew from a young age that I wanted to live in the mountains,” he said. “I made it happen as soon as I graduated. That was 1985.” He nearly took for granted what he’d always wanted, though. “I went back to Michigan after my first winter working at the Edgewater,” Meyer said. “But the heat, the humidity – I thought, “What did I come back here for?'”
Meyer returned to Summit County the following winter and went back to working in restaurants. When winter days weren’t filled with work, he was skiing. He was lucky to learn to ski in Europe, he said, and Summit County was the best fix for the passion he’d developed.
But as the cliche goes for many permanent Summit residents, Meyer came for the winters only to discover the epic summers. Eight years after moving to the mountains, biking captured his attention. He took to it with a fury, and in 1996, Meyer qualified for the 30-39 age division for the U.S. Master’s World team. His new passion took him to compete in the world championships in Switzerland.
“That French I learned as a kid came in handy,” Meyer said.
Change and challenge tested him. On July 3, 1999 (Meyer remembers the date without hesitation), racing down the Wild Thing trail at Keystone, Meyer crashed. Doctors in Denver informed Meyer his head-plant had damaged vertebrae, and the injury resulted in fusion surgery. He didn’t let that deter him, though. Meyer was back in the saddle for the final race in the Vail series a month after the operation.
“I was in the best shape when I crashed,” he said. “It was so frustrating to have that happen. I had to get back at it.”
More change: Meyer decided he needed a change from restaurant work, so he enrolled in Colorado Mountain College’s real estate program. After practice test and practice test, he passed his licensing test in April last year. He now works as a buyer’s specialist for Omni Real Estate in Dillon.
“I never really put my business education to use,” Meyer said. “I’m really liking it. I want to retire, and I just couldn’t see myself flipping burgers at 80.”
Outside of work, Meyer tries to bike almost every day. If he finds any other spare time, it’s likely with his one-year-old labrador retriever or his roommate – who also happens to be his brother.
Out of the Air Force a year, Meyer’s brother moved to Summit County from Denver, and Meyer makes a decent welcome wagon (especially from the seat of a bike).
“There’s so many amenities here,” he said. “I’ve really seen the county grow up.”
Reid Williams covers education, law enforcement and general assignment. He can be reached
at email@example.com or (970) 668-3998, ext. 237.
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